Saturday, December 24, 2005


I've been working at making jumprings for some chain and mail experiments. I drool at sites like Urban Maille, and Golden Maille, and The Ring Lord. But I have wire, and time, and NO money, so I have been making my own.

Last week in a BIG hurry, trying to finish a gift before taking it to a party, I had to make a few with wire clippers, but they really are not satisfactory at all. Back when I was taking a silversmithing class, I remember sawing them out of a coil with the coil wedged in a grooved bench pin, and I recall that wasn't very satisfactory either — I couldn't hold them very well. Although any variety of sawed ring is superior to a clipped ring.

This week I started by having a short coil threaded onto my saw blade, and just holding it in my fingers and moving it back and forth over the stationary blade. Works, sort of. (I'm not at any kind of a bench but sitting in the comfortable chair in Isabel's room where it's warm, nattering on to her about my progress, in case she's hearing it.) I did turn out some decent rings. I also nearly wore a cut into my finger with the back edge of the sawblade somehow, without even noticing. Also the blade, even a #6/0, tends to catch in the rings and twist them out of line in the coil.

The last two days I have found a very satisfactory solution. I make the coil and then tightly wrap it with a few thicknesses of the same tape that I use to protect my cracking fingertips. Then I saw through coil and tape, while the rings are held in place, don't wiggle and catch at the sawblade, and don't fall into my lap and get lost as they are cut off. Then I just lay open the cut cocoon of tape, and voila! about three dozen shiny neat rings.

I'll get some pictures of this process tomorrow (that is, later today, since it seems to already be tomorrow, technically).


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